Posted: May 14, 2012 8:00 AM
Teenagers today spend much of their time outside of school on sports, extracurricular activities or homework. Free time is just as important, but how best to spend it? What about a hobby you can enjoy together? Keep reading for five great hobbies you and your teen can share.

Do you have a passion for taking photographs, or tend the best flower garden on the block? Having a hobby is a great way to unwind from the stresses of daily life. "If you and your child have no common interests this is a good time to search for a new hobby, activity or pastime that you both enjoy," says Linda Sonna, Ph.D. Children of adults with hobbies are much more likely to have hobbies themselves. Share one of these hobbies with your teen and help her learn to de-stress.


It used to be your grandmother's hobby, but knitting has seen a surge in popularity with the younger crowd. Simple stitches are easy to learn, and from these you can easily craft a scarf or blanket. Your teen will love choosing beautiful yarns in trendy colors to create something she can wear with pride -- and you will both gain the benefit of relaxation.


Taking pictures is a hobby to last a lifetime. Whether you enjoy the old-school film camera or a digital model, photography is a hobby you can do anywhere. Take your teen out for an afternoon photo shoot and see what he snaps. We view the world through different lenses -- here is a way to see through his.


What was once a way to kill time during a boring college lecture has become a hobby! With a few special pens and some nice paper, teens and adults alike are creating some amazing art. Books showing how to create basic doodles and expand on them have become very popular.


Writing your personal thoughts down may not seem like a hobby to share with someone. If your teen has an aptitude for writing, seeing you write in a journal or poetry book may inspire them to give it a try. Taking the time to find a quiet space and write, even for 10 minutes, is a wonderful way to clear your head.


Reading is a somewhat solitary hobby, but sharing books with your teen can be a rewarding experience. Find a book that interests your teen and read it together. Discussing the book can show you a side of your teen you hadn't seen before. What did he like? What did he learn that he didn't know?

The Bottom Line^ When you and your teen find a hobby to share, you gain much more than just a pretty scarf.

More about your teen

Online safety for tweens and teens
How to survive your teen's first crush
5 Independent living skills to teach your teen